In Defense of Revolutionary Organisation Part 5

The Future Lies Open

The revolutionary wave which swept the world from 1917 to 1919, in Germany as much as in Russia, but also in other countries of the world, this revolutionary wave took the form of workers' councils. But it would be wrong to conclude, as do the councilists, that this is the new form of revolutionary organisation. For something that we have learnt in this modern era, inaugurated by the English revolution, is that moments of great social tension call forth their own appropriate social forms rather than replicating or reviving old social forms. Critics call this spontaneism, deliberately confounding two meanings of this word. In one sense it means coming out of nowhere, arriving without warning. I oppose this meaning in this context to another - that of being self-generated, of the revolution being the work of the workers themselves. It is in this later sense that social evolution evokes crises which stimulate class struggle, and that class struggle in turn clothes itself in organisational forms appropriate to itself.
For revolutionaries without a revolution it is easy to mull over revolutions of the past. In this way there develop 'fellowships of discourse' which stem from this. Far from providing an overview or some sort of strategic viewpoint, such groupings become conservative and simply protect their gems of proletarian wisdom in an ever more greatly ossified form. As such they constitute parasites feeding upon the host of proletarian struggle. Their existence isn't necessarily serious, and it certainly isn't necessary to picture them in the way evoked by the ICC, where they are depicted as being a significant weapon in the arsenal of the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless they can constitute a break or barrier to the development of more interesting movements, and at such times they must be swept aside. This is what must be done with the ICC now.

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Going Around in Circles
In Defense of The Proletariat
New Atlantis

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